You may have been following the mid-year economic forecast (MYEFO) released today by the Australian Government.
I would like to share some information and give you a rough idea of what it means for us.
The statement has significant implications for the higher education sector, and for ANU.
As you know, there was considerable concern amongst researchers that grants were ‘paused’; that ‘pause’ has now been lifted, and there has been “no change to the level of grants” allocated to the Australian Research Council and to Cooperative Research Centres.
Indexation has been preserved and there are no changes to the demand-driven system for student enrolments at this stage. There are changes for some student income support programs.
However, the promised growth in ‘Sustainable Research Excellence’ (SRE) funding, which supports the indirect costs of research, will be significantly slowed. The expected uplift in SRE funds will not take place in 2013 as promised, and I estimate a $500 million cut to the program over the next four years.
This will have an impact on all universities, but most acutely on strong research institutions. ANU, like many other universities, has already factored the SRE funding into our budget for next year. We expect the decision will cost the ANU budget an approximate $3.4 million in 2013, and at least $10 million in 2014.
Also the loss of Facilitation Funding, associated with the Governments Compacts, will see $270 million cut from the sector, costing ANU around $4.7 million in 2014.
There has been no announcement on replacement funds to support the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (NCRIS), which will also impact on research-intensive universities.